Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-01-2020, 03:48 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: One of the worst states in the USA
Posts: 24
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Blue bird
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 5 million mega tons
Inverter/ Charger

What brand is everyone using with good results? Im shopping for around 2000 watts inverter/charger. We wont really be boondocking alot and will need to charge from the inverter as well as the alternator as we head down the road. Its not going to be a big system. A small agm bank and 2 main 110 circuits. Let me know what all you guys have had success with. Theres lots of "amazon specials" but then theres the big guys like Tripp lite, and AIMS, and xantrex. Ive never purchased one but have installed a few. Thanks!
SSPAdventures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2020, 06:01 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Drew Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
Posts: 900
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
We just had our AIMS 2000w inverter/charger fail after less than a year in use and the tech support was of no use...needless to say, I wouldn't recommend them. The power saver mode was broken right out of the box, so I used it in always-on mode. The charge mode started failing us towards the end. I think AIMS has a good social media presence, but their support is pretty lacking.

I bought a Xantrex 2000w inverter/charger to replace it and it was only 75 bucks more than the AIMS (I bought from Northern Arizona Wind and Sun at their warehouse, so it was cheaper than their website). It's got a 2 year warranty and IMO is a nicer unit. The guy I talked to at NAWS told me that AIMS is a rebranded inverter, they don't do their own manufacturing. He said he's heard more stories like mine than he can count.
You might be able to get away with less than 2000w, depending on what your energy use is going to be.
__________________
Our Build: https://dazzlingbluebus.wordpress.com/
Drew Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2020, 07:43 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: One of the worst states in the USA
Posts: 24
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Blue bird
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 5 million mega tons
Thanks for the info! We could probably get by with a smaller unit, but i think doing it once is better than needing to upgrade later. Really all we're powering is a fridge, and a couple outlets for charging devices and a tv.
SSPAdventures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2020, 11:51 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,090
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
IMHO:

I will not use an Aims inverter in any application that I have to rely on. Xantrex all of the way. If your budget absolutely won't accommodate Xantrex then I would take a look at Samlex.

I maintained several remote communication sites that we installed Samlex around 13 years ago. They have been supporting 24x7 loads for thirteen years.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2020, 06:58 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: One of the worst states in the USA
Posts: 24
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Blue bird
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 5 million mega tons
Thankyou for the info. I want to do it once, so I'll stay away from AIMS.
SSPAdventures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2020, 10:50 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 882
Year: 1990
Coachwork: integral
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
I have a Magnum MS2000 - solid, made in USA, fully field-serviceable, hopefully the last big inverter I'll ever need to buy. The only slight downside is that its power consumption in Sleep mode is higher than most of the Samlex/Cotek inverters, so I'll use one of them for my 24/7 fridger and keep my Magnum for other occasional AC loads whenever required.

Another reason I chose the Magnum is that its built-in 100A charger is PFC, with a Power Factor greater than 0.95; it also has battery temperature compensation (important in hotter weather). The Magnum is also able to easily power difficult reactive loads better than some other makes - not all Sine Wave inverters are the same!

John
Iceni John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2020, 09:56 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
2kool4skool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Spring Valley AZ
Posts: 1,310
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 elderly children, 1 cat
2000 Xantrex inv. been working perfectly for 5 years now. Have a separate 55a Powermax convertor/charger. Yamaha 2000 gen mounted under the bus.
400w solar through a Renogy Rover into 650ah AGMs. No hookup to the bus alt and the batts power a 4.5cf elect fridge, tv, dvd, xm, lights no issues.
If cloudy I run the very thrifty gen for a while. 10g tank for the gen, I fill twice per year, never takes more than 5 g.

70% mornings mostly after late night tv etc.
__________________
Don, Mary and Spooky the cat.
2kool4skool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2020, 11:14 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Windham NH
Posts: 328
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE
Engine: International T444e
Rated Cap: 76
Victron Energy Multiplexes I've heard are great products. They solve three problems of inverter/shore charger/solar charger and provides an upgrade path to split phase if you want it. Completely configurable.

If you want to install actual outlets in your rig, going through an AC breaker panel, I would suggest not going below 2000W. That way your outlets will behave like "true" AC outlets in that they can run any single 110V appliance you plugin without worry, and you can install 15A (or 20A at 2500W+) outlets and breakers that will trip before your inverter gives up trying to supply a load.
kazetsukai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 05:29 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Posts: 265
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
Good suggestions.
I had no issues at all with my Victron Multiplus. I like a 3000 watt inverter so I can plug in a big load like a toaster without turning everything else off every time.
This time around Im gong to try a Sterling Power inverter charger I found. Its only 2100 watt but Iíll manage the loads.
Samlex and Cotek have good reviews. Iím considering a small Samlex in parallel wth the Sterling. Morningstar also makes a great little inverter.
For cheap units be been reading some decent reviews of Reliable and Giandel inverters. They have no charger but are very affordable. I have no first hand experience with these brands.
I donít work or have any affiliation with any of these companies.
Doktari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 06:18 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: One of the worst states in the USA
Posts: 24
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Blue bird
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 5 million mega tons
Im now kinda focused on the inverter/chargers from Renogy. They seem to be one of the go-to solar companies. Has anyone used their stuff? I see lots of their setups out there.
__________________
Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall,
Torque is how far you take the wall with you.
SSPAdventures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 07:08 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
2kool4skool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Spring Valley AZ
Posts: 1,310
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 elderly children, 1 cat
Have Renogy 100w solar x 4 and a Rover mppt.
__________________
Don, Mary and Spooky the cat.
2kool4skool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 08:19 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: One of the worst states in the USA
Posts: 24
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Blue bird
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 5 million mega tons
Im just wondering if their inverters are as good as the solar components.
__________________
Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall,
Torque is how far you take the wall with you.
SSPAdventures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 09:20 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Posts: 265
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
Iím wondering if Renogy inverter chargers are relabeled? Who builds their stuff? I have some Renogy gel cell batteries and donít know who actually makes them. Once a company subsidizes overseas its difficult to tell. Iím near Arlington, WA. This was the home of Trace, then Xantrex, Outback, Midnite, Magnum, Balmar, etc., but once they grew and became multinational itís impossible to tell.
Ive heard mixed reviews regarding a Renogy support. It took a month for them to return my email but they did eventually without me sending another. And they apologized for the late response.
Doktari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Today, 10:55 AM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Windham NH
Posts: 328
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE
Engine: International T444e
Rated Cap: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSPAdventures View Post
Im now kinda focused on the inverter/chargers from Renogy. They seem to be one of the go-to solar companies. Has anyone used their stuff? I see lots of their setups out there.
My first solar charge controller was a Renogy Tracer 40A MPPT. I used it in a 12V configuration (and later a 24V configuration to accommodate more panels) on a setup to drive water pumps for an aquaponic greenhouse. It was operating outdoors for most of the year... After the project ended, I moved the array to the bus along with the charger.

Why I stopped using the Renogy: When I re-evaluated battery requirements for the bus based on appliance ratings, I found I needed quite a bit more in battery size/weight than I was comfortable putting into the storage bays. That lead to researching lithium, etc - > I ended up with Tesla batteries as my target solution. I needed fully configurable voltages and not just chemistry profiles, therefore I got my Victron 150/100.

The Renogy moved into my van conversion (2011 Transit Connect) when I split my array. I put two of my panels on the van. Its still going strong, built tough but a bit bulky I think. I'm going to reconfigure the setup soon and if I get rid of the Tracer it will be due to size, not function. I'll likely keep it if it fits under a seat.

TL;DR: Renogy Tracer 40A 12V/24V still going strong after 5+ years of service largely outdoors with huge humidity and temp variations. Get the external screen add-on.
kazetsukai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Today, 05:19 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSPAdventures View Post
What brand is everyone using with good results? Im shopping for around 2000 watts inverter/charger. We wont really be boondocking alot and will need to charge from the inverter as well as the alternator as we head down the road. Its not going to be a big system. A small agm bank and 2 main 110 circuits. Let me know what all you guys have had success with. Theres lots of "amazon specials" but then theres the big guys like Tripp lite, and AIMS, and xantrex. Ive never purchased one but have installed a few. Thanks!
https://www.ebay.com/p/7034198334
Been using it for about 3 years. It's very efficient. Doest complain when I make coffee, run the AC, turn on the microwave, and then the freezer kicks in. Has a Huge transformer. Was less than 300 bucks when o bought it. I think it is around 310 now. A real good price for an inverter that has no trouble with motor startups.
Rock-N-Ruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×